Vitantonio Liuzzi has both paid tribute to new, temporary, team-mate Sebastian Vettel and suggested that he is not yet a fully fledged Formula One driver.

Speaking at the first press conference of the Italian Grand Prix weekend, Liuzzi revealed that the German's arrival at Faenza had helped to lighten the mood within the team, having seen a morale dip during the spat between erstwhile team-mate Scott Speed and the management.

"For sure, the atmosphere is a bit different in the team," he confirmed, "Before, it was quite heavy, now it's changed a bit - it is a bit of a fresh air.

"It's unfortunate for Scott, but Sebastian, the last two races, was really welcomed by the team and there was a different air inside. He is young, he has to gain experience, he has to learn with the team and I think there was a bit of a difference inside. And I think everybody saw this from the outside."

Asked how Vettel compared to Speed on track, however, Liuzzi admitted that the difference in experience was still something the German had to overcome.

"I don't think I have to say that everybody knows that, obviously, Scott had two years' experience," he pointed out, "He was often giving me a hard time, and Sebastian has to do kilometres, for sure. He's really young and it was a bit easier to score points with the BMW, and he's realised that. For sure, yes, he has a lot to do for next year."

Vettel will be part of an all-new Toro Rosso line-up in 2008, having been paired with Champ Car ace Sebastien Bourdais. Liuzzi, meanwhile, continues to scour opportunities to remain on the grid.

 

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